[Today’s devotion on overcoming weaknesses is part of the Weekend Word devotional series. Come back every Saturday to feel refreshed and encouraged through God’s Word.]
Today’s Scripture Reading:
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
“I don’t understand how you can have such a high GPA and not be able to do common sense tasks.”
I’m not sure I’ll ever forget those words. They permeated everything I did. Where I had previously felt confident in my ability, I now felt like what I had would never be good enough. While this was said to me in an academic setting, I found it affecting my confidence in ministry. Why would God choose me when I had nothing of value to give? I thought for sure God had called the wrong person.
If you’ve ever wondered why God would choose you for a particular purpose, you’re not alone.
If we ask “Why would God choose me?”, we can ask the same about anybody in the Bible. Why would God choose Moses, who protested that he wasn’t eloquent enough to lead the people (Exodus 4:10)? Why would He choose Gideon whose description of himself included the words “weak” and “least” (Judges 6:15)? Why pick Paul, who relentlessly persecuted Christians (Acts 9:1-2)?
The truth about these people is that by the world’s standards, they weren’t good enough. They weren’t wise or strong — not on their own.
But they were obedient, even if it took a little prompting.
It’s in our weaknesses where God’s power truly shines the best. He gave each of these people the help they needed to fulfill God’s call. For Moses, it was his brother Aaron. With Gideon, God called him a “mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). Paul understood that God’s power was “made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
If someone wise says something intelligent, or someone strong lifts something heavy, that’s their normal. It’s easy to attribute their success to their natural abilities. It’s when someone doesn’t have these natural abilities and performs an extraordinary act that we’re amazed.
God’s calling isn’t conditioned on your natural abilities. When Jesus wanted to feed the five thousand, His disciple Andrew looked at a boy’s small lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish and said: “How far will they go among so many?” (John 6:8-9). He saw what little they had and thought it wouldn’t be enough.
But it was enough. The disciples weren’t able to feed five thousand people by using their incredible division skills on a few loaves of bread. They were able to feed them because Jesus took what little they had and multiplied it.
That’s what God does for us when we’re obedient to His call. He takes what we think is little talent, little wisdom, and little strength and multiplies it so that it’s more than enough to accomplish His purpose. He takes what we think is weak and makes it strong. That is His specialty.
It’s in our weaknesses that God gets the most glory. Because of this, Paul tells us we can gladly boast about our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your “little” is not enough. Offer what you have to God and remember: “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). God wants your obedience, not your ability. What you have is always enough, not because it’s remarkable by the world’s standards, but because God can take it and multiply it beyond what we would ever think is possible.
Today’s Thoughts: Which area of your life do you feel you don’t measure up? What’s the “little” that you have — what small ability do you possess? How might God take your “little” and multiply it to be more than enough to accomplish His purpose?